Over the past year, I have become more and more uncomfortable with commercial food production. While I am nowhere near ready to give up shopping at the grocery store, I’d like to make some small steps toward sustainability and toward eating locally. One day, I’d love a greenhouse and the ability to grow all my own vegetables, as well as bees, plus the space to raise chickens and maybe rabbits, but likely not this year.
Another food-related goal is canning and other preserving. I know how, I’ve done so in the past, but it’s a lot of work, and I haven’t had a lot of time over the last 5 or so years. I’d like to can purchased tomatoes, and maybe also homemade spaghetti sauce. I’d like to try my hand at tomato paste and homemade ketchup. I’d like to put up my Nana’s garlic dill pickles and maybe some beets and carrots. As well, my boys consume a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, so preserving enough jam this summer that I don’t need to buy any at the grocery store would be a modest step towards food sustainability (baby steps, yo).
As well, I’d love to eventually make all our own bread and other grain-based food items, like bagels, crackers and cereal. For starters, I’m going to look around to see if I can find a secondhand bread-maker to buy or borrow, and use that for the kneading and first rising (I’ll shape the loaves by hand and bake them in the oven, I hate the size and shape of bread machine loaves). Also, I’m going to try to get into the hang of using my stepmother’s no-knead bread – it takes about 18 hours or so between mixing the dough and baking the bread, so it may take a bit to become accustomed to the timing.